Walters Art Museum Art of the Day: Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Deidamia

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Veronese’s majestic, full-length portrait of the countess and her eldest daughter Deidamia, born in 1545, was originally accompanied by one of her husband Count Issepo (Giuseppe) da Porto and their son Leonida (now in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence). These paintings were most likely installed in their palace in Vicenza, which had recently been built by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). The portraits would have been placed so that it would appear as if the family were standing in niches inside the palace; however, the floor strip below is a later addition. Veronese was famous for his use of color and mastered the rendering of luxurious textures and fabrics, including the marten’s fur. The head of gold and enamel is nearly identical to one in the Walters’ collection (57.1982). Marten fur was thought to protect women in childbirth, and in 1552 the countess was pregnant with her daughter Emilia. Learn more about this object in our art site: http://bit.ly/1NUsCqw

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